BUDGET SPEECH 2002
PROGRAMME BASED BUDGETING FOR EFFICIENT RESOURCE ALLOCATION
AND USE WITH A POVERTY REDUCTION DIMENSION
VIII. POVERTY REDUCTION THROUGH
- The essence of an existing and up-to-date infrastructure for trade,
industrial expansion and growth – the fundamental basis of our Vision,
cannot be overemphasised. It is for this, that we labour to expand our
infrastructure base as well as maintain and upgrade the existing facilities.
- Government continues to restructure the energy sector with the objective
of providing efficient, reliable and affordable energy services to the
population. A draft national energy policy has recently been developed
and is currently being reviewed by government. This is intended to drive
programme formulation in the sector to attract investment and improve
- Last year we lamented the situation of our energy sector – specifically
the supply of electricity, which was characterised by intermittent and
insufficient supply. The total available generating capacity at Kotu
Power Station was 23 MW. Today, the Station has a generating capacity
of 41 MW, following an Engineering, Procurement and Construction Contract
agreement with a consortium of firms. In this respect, the August Assembly
should be informed that the increase in power output is due to the addition
of three new generators, the acquisition of which was facilitated by
HE the President.
- The increased generating capacity has engendered the need for network
expansion and rehabilitation in order to make power available to its
consumers. To this end, the Government will embark on a major project
to strengthen the transmission and distribution systems during the course
of 2002. This project will ensure reliability of supply to existing
customers while expanding the transmission and distribution network.
- In the last budget speech, we reported on plans to embark on a rural
electrification programme. The project consists of 6 new power stations
situated at Barra, Kerewan, Farafenni, Kaur, Bansang and Basse. These
will serve as the basis for the development of a national grid. A full-scale
implementation of this most important project will begin in 2002. As
programmed by 2003/2004, 46 rural towns and villages will have access
to electricity on a 24-hour basis.
- The Government continues to place emphasis on alternative and renewable
sources of energy. The electrification of the rural areas is not confined
to conventional electricity only. Government is studying a proposal
for the installation of 5000 solar home systems from Spanish Company.
- Consumption of fuel wood with its negative impact on the environment
has always been a concern to Government. As a consequence, a multi-dimensional
approach is being developed in consultation with national, regional,
bilateral and multilateral agencies to address the issue of domestic
and alternative energy supply.
ii. Civil Works
Mr Speaker, Sir,
- In pursuit of the laudable objectives embodied in Vision 2020, the
Government has been relentless in its efforts to initiate and adopt
far-reaching policies in the Transport, Communication and Information
- For the road sub-sector, the required steps have been taken to ensure
the setting up of the Highway Maintenance Authority in early 2002 that
will ensure the availability of sufficient and reliable sources of funds
for efficient road maintenance. The Government accords high priority
to the Transport sector since the development of this sector enhances
economic growth, social progress and poverty reduction.
- The period over the last 12 months has witnessed considerable progress
in the road sub sector where emphasis is mainly on the rehabilitation,
extension and maintenance of existing road infrastructure. The Essau
to Kerewan road and the Kerewan Bridge have now been completed whilst
the Kombo Coastal roads Project is soon to be completed. The studies
for the rehabilitation of the Farafenni to Laminkoto road have also
been completed and funding has been secured from the Kuwaiti Fund.
- The reconstruction of the Sere-kunda Mandinaba road is now fully underway.
The project as you may know, will upgrade 12km of the section between
Westfield and Banjul International Airport to a dual carriageway and
a single carriageway from there to Mandinaba. Currently arrangements
are at an advanced stage for the construction of the Mandinaba to Soma
road to keep the stretch usable.
- The reconstruction of the Badala Parkway incorporating streetlights
has already commenced to mitigate the high volume of traffic in sere-kunda
originating from Banjul and heading towards the airport and beyond.
The road will be extended from the Shell Station on Kairaba Avenue to
intersect the Banjul Serrekunda Highway at Stink Corner.
- As we foster decentralization of development, the Basse to Fatoto
and Basse to Yorobawol roads have been regravelled and the bush track
from Fatoto to Koina, raised to a gravel standard. The Bridge linking
Basse to the Ferry crossing over to Wuli have also been reconstructed
through EU Funding.
- Our drive to provide a nationwide and uninterrupted transport service
through the GPTC was seriously constrained by such developments, as
the increase in the price of fuel (in March) and the cost of spare parts
due to escalating foreign exchange rates. The above were exacerbated
further by poor road conditions particularly on the provincial routes.
- Notwithstanding the above constraints, the GPTC continues to execute
its mandate based on the commercial expediency of routes. The recent
opening of the new Kombo Coastal road provides new opportunities for
the corporation to penetrate into the Kombos. The corporation has already
re-introduced the Banjul/Kartong service with effect from 8th
- Since last year, government negotiated four Bilateral Air Transport
Agreements, three of which: - with the United States of America, Namibia,
and Burkina Fasso, were concluded and signed. This has led to a milestone
development witnessed through the commencement of direct weekly flight
services to Baltimore and Washington D.C in the United States in May
of this year. This was facilitated by a joint operation agreement between
Gambia International Airlines (GIA) and Ghana Airways. Government has
also, in the last 12 months ratified various important air law protocols
and conventions that seek to strengthen our local air transport industry
and bring it in conformity with global trends.
- Expanding and upgrading facilities at Banjul International Airport
has entered its second phase following successful completion of the
New Passenger Terminal and Control Tower Project. Next year, the works
to commence at the airport include a dual carriage airport access road,
expansion of the parking apron and rehabilitation of the runway. The
first lot of these works is expected to complete in the next eight months.
- On the sea transport front, the Gambia Ports Authority has implemented
a series of modernisation projects including the construction of a passenger
terminal with an area of 292.9 sq meters, for improving both the capacity
and service delivery medium of the authority. Funded jointly by the
Gambia government and ADB, this passenger terminal facility includes
offices and waiting facilities for passengers as well as a luggage holding
area and bus-parking bay.
- On River transport, we experienced a setback following the declaration
of the sea unworthiness of the two ferries the Niumi and Banjul, leaving
Barra as the only vessel plying the Banjul-Barra waterway. Government
was however swift to react to this predicament and has now successfully
put in place the funds to acquire a new ferry which is currently in
dry dock under construction. Insha Allah by April 2002 a new ferry will
be delivered to the Gambia people. Meanwhile Government has directed
GPA to take over Ferry Services from the GPTC with effect from 1st
July 2001 under a caretaker management.
Mr Speaker, Sir,
- In order to keep abreast with the dynamic telecommunications environment,
the much talked about GSM network was launched under a subsidiary company
– Gamcel during the course of this year. The project cost over D100m
and is expected to provide modern mobile telephone service to over 30,000
- Other areas of investment and achievements in 2001 include the construction
of the TV building, cable and network expansion project to substantially
reduce the waiting list in both urban and rural areas for enhanced subscriber
connections. International circuit was increased from 480 to 660 to
boost international connectivity and the new TDMA system established
that provides access to basic telephone service for every village or
- Internet connectivity has been given a boost by the increase in the
Internet gateway bandwidth from 512 kilobits to 1-mega bits per second.
Plans are underway to establish another mega bit to serve both as a
supplement and a backup to the first one. An Internet awareness campaign
was also embarked upon to increase the benefits of this medium to our
people. There are also plans to lay a fibre cable from Fatoto to Farafenni,
next year, for increased country coverage.
v. Postal Services
- In our continued drive to improve and expand the range of services,
the Post Office recently concluded and launched Western Union Money
Transfer Service in partnership with the Continent Bank. This development
is in line with government’s objective of fostering closer partnership
with the private sector in the provision of essential services to the
public. The service is accessible at Banjul, Soma and SereKunda Post
Offices. Other postal outlets will soon join the network.
- The government is now in the final phase of transforming the Post
Office to an autonomous entity and plans are underway to introduce a
Courier Service Unit at the GPO. This will be dedicated to responding
to time sensitive mails of the public and thenceforth, the Postal Service
will assume a new business posture, in line with its commercial orientation
and in readiness to providing quality service to its larger customer
vi. Maintenance Service Agency
- The MSA has embarked on a diversification programme aimed at widening
its product mix and customer base. The Company now produces steel doors,
windows, burglar proofing, and also collects and sells scrap metals
for export. There are plans for the company to embark on the sale of
spare parts and lubricants, agricultural implements in partnership with
Internal Private Investors.
- The Company also operates a Motoring School, which is providing first
class lessons in driving aimed at reducing the incidence of road Traffic
accidents. In the 2002 financial Year, MSA Co, Limited intends to intensify
its diversification programme in an attempt to improve on its profitability
and customer services delivery.
II. THE WORLD ECONOMY
III. THE DOMESTIC ECONOMY
IV. CO-OPERATION AND INTEGRATION
V. OUTTURN OF THE 2001 BUDGET
VI. POVERTY ALLEVIATION AND THE SOCIAL SECTOR STRATEGY
VII. POVERTY REDUCTION THROUGH INCREASED PRODUCTIVITY
VIII. POVERTY REDUCTION THROUGH INFRASTRUCTURAL DEVELOPEMENT
IX. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
X. GOVERNANCE ISSUES
XI. NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANISATIONS (NGOs)
XII. PUBLIC ENTERPRISES (PEs)
XIII. FISCAL PROJECTION FOR 2002